Month: June 2014

Facebook contagion study contagion

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No less than 4 different people alerted me on my Facebook feed to the study on sentiment analysis and Facebook feeds Experimental evidence of massive-scale emotional contagion through social networks. There is quite a number of media reports on it researchers like Tal Yarkoni and Brian Keegan have commented on it. I have put some pointers on the Brede Wiki.

Lars Kai Hansen states that he “doubt[s] emotional filtering is routine at [Faacebook].”

I think that Facebook is actually doing emotional filtering. Here is a comment I made on a thread in Facebook: Doesn’t the brouhaha show how naïve Facebook users are? These A/B-testings occur all the time. Twitter and Facebook are continuously optimizing the news feed ordering (at least I should think so). Having sentiment analysis as a component is just one feature. If they didn’t do that the data scientists would not be worth their job. If you as a user care about privacy and not being manipulated you should stop using these social media. I suppose that for the scientist involved and possibly PNAS it is a bit of an issue if the IRB is not there. Susan Fiske seems not to be quite clear on that point.

Why does Sciencedirect look so silly?

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I wonder how Elsevier manages to create a webpage that looks as if no thought have gone into styling. The above webpage is what I see when I get into their Sciencedirect service. At first I thought it was HTTPS-Everywhere add-on in Firefox and Elsevier mixed content, but I am not sure that is the case. And disabling Ghostery and Adblock by starting Firefox in safe mode did not help.

Update 2014-07-15: The Elsevier Sciencedirect no longer look like this. I guess they or must have made a update or my Firefox got corrected.

Music on Linux

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Making music on Linux is a considerable headache. There are loads of interesting programs and sound systems but often they barely work, – if at all and only after considerable setup.

One of the nice programs is ZynAddSubFx made by Romanian Nasca O. Paul. It is a ridiculously configurable synthesizer with several methods for constructing sounds. It got effect and it even allows you to play via the qwerty keyboard.

On startup ZynAddSubFx will attempt to hook up to Jack. It does not start Jack by itself. Although ZynAddSubFx will play through Jack annoying clicks appear in the audio, and these clicks I have never been able to get rid off.

If ZynAddSubFx cannot use jack it will attempt to use the Open Sound System by looking after the /dev/dsp device. If this is not available one usually runs into an error message like “Using OSS instead. ERROR – I can’t open the /dev/dsp.” On an Ubuntu you can then try to install the alsa-oss package for alsa wrapping oss-programs. Once this package is installed you may try to start with “aoss ZynAddSubFx” from the command line.

There may still occur problems though.